Harris excels in close-focus scenes of history being written — or rather, scrawled, ripped up and redrafted — in a blur of small-hours wrangles, whispered rumours, midnight phone calls, sleepless vigils and cross-town dashes, amid a tobacco fug of fear, panic and confusion … We know what took place at Munich — Harris sticks close to the facts, cleverly inserting his fictitious backroom duo into the corners and corridors of power — and we know its outcomes...Defying hindsight, Harris generates a galloping sense of excitement and doom as the betrayal of the Czechs — their delegates forbidden even to witness their nation’s dismemberment — emerges as the price tag for Europe’s stay of execution … With moral subtlety as well as storytelling skill, Harris makes us regret the better past that never happened — while mournfully accepting the bitter one that did.
...highly entertaining … Like many an excursion in Harris-land, its plot runs in parallel, with two interconnected lives busily at work on either side of the channel eventually meeting in a single point … If any of the ingredients of a successful historical thriller have gone missing in Munich, then I failed to spot their absence. To particularize, Mr. Harris’s re-arrangement of the pre-World War II chessboard has drama; it has determinism; it has celebrity walk-ons and it has period doppelgängers.
Robert Harris has parachuted one of his trusty old-school protagonists through the interstices of historical events, sticking tight to the record but suggesting how things might have turned out differently … The first hundred or so pages of Munich are full of tight little huddles, grave-faced men darting in and out of offices. At times the documentarist in Harris seems to be rather crowding out the novelist, hugging the shore of verifiable fact instead of boldly striking out on the choppier waters of fiction … the book turns up the volume as the dual plotlines converge … A tantalising addition to the inexhaustible game of ‘what if?,’ Munich is one of Robert Harris’s more contained performances.